5 Popular Myths About Sleep Exposed

Trust me, I understand why sleeping has become the last thing on your to-do list today. Once your day starts, it’s nearly impossible to turn it off. You have work, meetings, errands, bills to pay, food to cook, and so on. Oh! Let’s not forget about the happy hour you’ve also been summoned to. And, if you reschedule that one more time, you’re in jeopardy of losing your friends.

 

Sleeping for the correct number of hours at night seems unattainable most days. But, if you don’t make time to get enough sleep you are jeopardizing your health and well-being. Your body may seem fine now and I’m sure you’ve been told that you can train your body to need less sleep. Have you been told that only children need those 8-9 hours of sleep, and adults will be just fine with 5-6 hours too? This is fake news. Keep reading and I’ll help you decipher between the myths about sleeping and the facts.

 

How many hours of sleep do we need?

 

According to Medical News Today, everyone needs 8 hours of sleep. I’ll repeat. Everyone (infants, toddlers, school-aged children, teenagers, adults, seniors, and even you) need 8 hours of sleep to maintain good health. 

 

Can you train your body to require less sleep?

 

The answer is no. This is a sleeping myth. What actually happens is that your body becomes temporarily accustomed to sleep deprivation. The keyword is temporary, because sooner or later sleep deprivation will start to cause negative physical and mental effects on the way your body is functioning. These negative effects can include short and long-term memory loss, mood swings, lack of concentration, weak immune system, high blood pressure, weight gain, and a higher risk for diabetes.

 

What is a good naptime length?

 

The Sleeping Foundation deems 10 -20-minute naps the perfect length. Anything less than 10 minutes is too short and will not improve current conditions of fatigue or drowsiness. Anything over 20 minutes could result in your body entering a deep sleep, which is also called the slow wave. Waking up in the middle of the slow wave will only make matters worse. You’ll become drowsier than before, plus ruin that good dream that was beginning to happen.

 

Is taking daytime naps helpful or unproductive?

 

Overall, daytime naps should be avoided. But, if you were not able to obtain your 8-9 hours of sleep the night before, a 20-minute nap could improve your fatigue and lack of concentration for the day.

 

Is there really such a thing as getting too much sleep?

 

Yes, unfortunately too much sleep can come with a painful price. According to WebMD, side effects from oversleeping can result in depression, low energy, heart disease, diabetes, memory loss, and the risk of death increases. I understand you need those lazy days to stay in pajamas, continuously nap, and binge your favorite reruns. Lazy days are needed for self-care. However, if you are sleeping more than 9 hours daily there may be health issues surfacing.   

 

Now that you know the truth about sleep. Start sleeping correctly and protect your health and happiness!